Summer holidays are almost over and students soon will be back to their campuses ready for the studies. The students of Tohoku University Katahira campus and Tohoku Gakuin university will find something new by their side. A new place to eat their lunch, to have a conversation or to relax while having a good treat so necessary for the busy university years.
Newly opened cafe and bakery “Birthday” is made for students. There is enough room for those who want to have their lunch in a relatively quiet and relaxed atmosphere, and there are tables for big companies - this place is suitable for discussions, too. Prices for bread are reasonable, and drinks are from 100 yen to 150 yen. “Of course, this place is meant for students. But we are happy to see anyone who loves fresh and delicious bread”, says the shop’s manager. It seems that the shop is already getting popular among people working around Katahira - we saw office workers, young mothers with babies and elderly people among the visitors.
What’s so appealing about the meals? Probably, a little bit of a nostalgia. There are a lot of different kinds of pastry that are familiar to any Japanese (and some of the foreigners who have lived in Japan for a long time or who like Japanese culture, especially the one associated with Showa era). “Birthday’s” special kare-pan (a pie with curry) looks just like an ideal kare-pan should look - crispy and well-fried, and the taste is ideal, too - not too spicy, not too oily, reminds me of some meat pies I used to buy at local market when I was a schoolgirl.
Paired with “Hohoemi meron-pan” (a sweet bun with sugar coating), it can become a satisfying Showa-style snack.
But the greatest thing in “Birthday” is its selection of koppe-pan - big buns with different kinds of filling. Sweet ones include custard cream, strawberry with condensed milk and many more, plus there are koppe-pan with beef and potatoes, egg, croquettes etc.
I just have to ask the manager one final question - what is the meaning of the shop’s name? I mean, who is having a birthday? “Bread. Everyday we give birth to bread, so we want all our customers to celebrate this birthday with us. Please come and have a birthday party!”